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On the face of it, Detroit looks great. Josh Smith is an all-star-level player, Brandon Jennings is electrifying and a solid draft class has the Pistons looking for a playoff berth.
It really hinges on Smith. Unless Detroit has a plan to magically increase his 28.3 percent career three-point shooting, it’s confusing to see why they acquired him offensively.
Smith is at his best working in the paint, but Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond already take up enough space. Inserting Smith there would jam up the area for any of them to work.
And if the Pistons are expecting him to hit his jumpers…this should convince them otherwise. Plus, that 51.7 percent free-throw percentage last year doesn’t do him any service.
Intangible-wise, chemistry still has to happen for this team to win games. The young starting five is unaccustomed to playing on a winning team (no one has a career winning percentage) and those with playoff experience are a combined 34-51.
What Detroit has now has similar elements of the infamous summer of 2009. They are better than that, of course, but as the league learned from the Lakers last year, bringing in a bunch of talent doesn’t guarantee anything.
Like a playoff berth. That’s what Pistons fans are hoping for. Not sure it will happen.
The Heat, Pacers, Nets, Bulls and Knicks have spots locked up. It’s a tight race for the last three playoff berths and Detroit is capable of being on the outside looking in.